Fast Tracker II with DOSBox

Sometime in the early 90’s, I was introduced to the DOS app ModEdit, a sample based compositional environment, known as a tracker. I never produced a finished piece of music, though I did screw around with it quite a bit. When I discovered Future Crew‘s Scream Tracker 3, I basically went through the same process, with the exception that I actually composed and released my first mod “Lore.” Terrible, it was.

Then came along Triton’s Fast Tracker II. This was light years ahead of trackers that came before it. It had an exceptional user interface, and many highly useful features not present in other trackers. It was very crude, yet an effective 8-bit era recording studio. And I have a lot of fond memories surrounding FT2.

DOS as an operating system is dead. Though it has been resurrected in the form of DOSBox, a cross-platform emulation environment that runs legacy DOS apps. Including Fast Tracker II.

Though I doubt I will ever again use FT2 as one of my primary compositional tools, I’m grateful that I’m able to revisit dozens of unfinished works, as it’s been fun recycling old mod loops with Ableton’s Live.

My only regret in life is that I never sent Triton my $20 dollars.


Adding Zak to the Mix

The Csound Blog
Issue #6

“It has been too long since the last Csound Blog. This is why I’m personally excited to announce this newest edition, ‘Adding Zak to the Mix.’

Today’s topic is how to model a studio mixer in Csound using Robin Whittle’s zak opcodes.[1] I will actually be stretching this subject over an unspecified number of blog entries, as I couldn’t possibly cover every significant nuance in one write-up. What I’m presenting here today is merely an overview, while in the following issues I will break down everything into its respective modular components. Not only will I cover the design of this zak mixer, I will present new ways in which you can organize your orchestras, along with how to unlock the potential of your patches using control instruments.”

Topics covered:

  • Zak
  • Model of a Studio Mixer
  • Macros
  • Signal Routing
  • Organization

More at The Csound Blog. For more information about Csound, please visit

BT’s Studio Robbed

I wish that I was addressing our community under different circumstances.

Unfortunately an event has occurred that in my opinion warrants a unique approach that ends not only in a solution for the situation that I have found myself in but also takes a fresh look at how we can help better serve our entire community as a whole. I have been robbed of much of my current gear, for both recording and three different live shows.

I will pay anyone either $20,000 US Dollars or my equivalent time as a producer in exchange for the name and address of the perpetrators. This information will be more helpful to me, than just getting my gear back. Over 150k dollars of gear was stolen including my main show computer containing the entire show for This Binary Universe. This is priceless to me, as is my Hartman Neuron and Dave Smith Poly-Evolver…

– Brian Transeau, a.k.a. BT

BT continues with a partial list of the equipment stolen from his studio, and proposes a non-profit community subscription service where individuals can “thumbprint” their gear to help track future stolen goods. Read more here.

Link via matrixsytnth.

“From One Single Acoustic Guitar Note”

Tony Miracle, of Venus Hum, explores a technique he used in making the bands new release “The Colors In The Wheel”

Tony takes a simple acoustic guitar note and through manipulation and modulation builds an entire electronic composition in an unrehearsed 15 min improv captured on film.

Gear Used In The Short

G4 Powerbook
Oxygen 8 USB Keyboard
Doepfer Regelwerk Midi Fader / Controlor
Taylor Acoustic Guitar
Ableton Live